Accurate data is a must in the law enforcement industry -- as is effective communication between departments or agencies and with local, state and federal agencies. And to make sure everyone stays on the same page, it’s important to keep your software updated.
But what if you are using an older software program and it’s time to upgrade to something that’s easier to update and grow with you? Many agencies put off such major changes out of a fear of losing data. And that keeps them trapped with an unwieldy and outdated system that could eventually compromise the effective use of their data. Not only that, but the software provider will eventually stop supporting the software when it becomes truly obsolete, and then you’re really on your own!
So let’s face it: Upgrading is inevitable, even if you keep using your old system long after the software provider stops issuing updates and new versions, just because it still works. It’s completely understandable that you’ll be nervous about the safety of your data as you migrate to a new system, but keep this in mind: Installing new software doesn’t remove your existing software. It -- and your data -- will still be accessible and available when you need it.
Of course, then there’s the issue of how to get that old data over to the new system: data conversion or manual transfer?
Data conversion is a messy option that rarely leaves either party (the software provider or the customer) 100% pleased with the outcome. It’s possible to complete, but there are many variables at play and potential complications involved. We’ll go into more detail about those in a future article.
When it comes to managing your data with Records Management Software (RMS), “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is not the maxim you want to live by. Upgrading to an entirely new software system is daunting because of both the scope of the project and the important data involved, but don’t let the difficulty of transferring data keep you from getting the system you need for your agency to function safely and efficiently.